As I promised Robyn, here are some photos of me modelling my bolero. I didn't get to grips with crochet... I have another cardy which has cords for tying in a bow, which works well, and so I learned how to make an i-cord. Not Steve Jobs' latest invention, but a way of knitting a few stitches 'in the round' on two dpn's.
So the finished item, which I'm so pleased with, is a real improvisation. It started life as this Bolero pattern. I started the sleeves by knitting some k2, p2 ribbing, and then elongating the sleeves to 3/4 length, which I prefer. The back and front panels are as per the pattern, but the edging is taken from a Wendy pattern: For the lower border (from one marker, down to the lower border, round the back, and back up to the other marker) pick up stitches, immediately double the number by making one in every stitch and then knit 6 rows before casting off. This makes a lovely frill. For the upper border (from one marker up around the neck and back down to the other marker) pick up stitches and knit 4 rows in garter stitch. The fastener is two lengths of 3-stitch i-cord.
Here are some close-ups of the fastening and the wavy bottom edge. It's very difficult to photograph a black item (it turns into a silhouette) but you get the idea.
Sibling Helen, who visited at the weekend, (that's Helen who supplied the buttons for the recent baby jacket, and also brought me a shed load of ceramic buttons 'for inspiration' for which I'm extremely grateful) saw the i-cord and was inspired herself - she's working on a ceramic project which could use some of the cord. The answer was simple, we went shopping, bought some needles and yarn, and sat in a coffee shop experimenting! She also helped me to choose the lovely blue glass beads which finish off the bolero a treat.